Martians, go home - by Frederick Brown
Posted on January 23rd, 2015
Short science fiction story that touches on interesting matters, one of which fairly modern: the loss of privacy.
Frederick brown presents this novel in 3 parts: the arrival of martians on earth, their stay, their departure. The core is obviously around their stay although both opening and closing present interesting description of human reactions and behaviors.
The book is written from a semi-omniscient narrator that follows mostly the experience of Luke Devereaux, a science fiction writer in mist of a writing crisys. The only restriction to the narrator is that he can only see/present things the humans know or discover. Never from the martians point of view. The narrator also jumps to other stories as needed to present certain points but Luke is the only really recurrent character.
Martians are little green humanoid forms that all look alike and "kwim" (teletransport) instantaneously wherever they want. They are intangible and cannot touch anything either although they are capable of producing sounds and they are visible. They have all sorts of visions that allow them to ear and see all that they want regardless of the protection.
The story evolves to describe the impacts of such intrusion into human life in a society. Martians are particulary fond of revealing secrets if that can cause any sort of havoc. And they do. Military secrets, personal secrets, hidden desires and all sorts of undisclosed information is shared to anyone that would upset the holder of the information. Husbands, wives, kids, friends, enemies, oppositions. Everybody gets their share.
The story evolves into the impact of such revelations to society. Problems with the entertainment industry, difficulties of any sort of group activity, impacts on sex, psychological issues and then economy downfall as a whole are among the development of the martian presence on Earth.
Finally, the book gets into the departure of the martians and hypothesis about its cause.
The story is obviously meant to be funny although it presents some subjects that are not the most hilarious. Impacts on the loss of privacy, the weakness of the economy and our psychological need for group activities. It’s a lightweight read with interesting perspectives and descriptions. Worth a good couple hours relaxing.